“Comics are an international language, they can cross boundaries and generations. Comics are a bridge between all cultures.” ―Osamu Tezuka

Manga, which translates to “whimsical or impromptu pictures,” are Japanese comics. Popular in Japan as well as internationally, manga spans genres—from romance to mystery to comedy—and reaches audiences young and old, male and female. Osamu Tezuka, known as the godfather of manga, founded the comic’s signature style in the 1950s with works like Astro Boy, whose illustrations feature strong black outlines and characters with large almond eyes. In 2005, Hiro Ando and Saori Nakamishi created Crazy Noodles Studio, an artist network for contemporary Pop artists whose work engages with the influence of Manga comics in Japanese culture. Many artists in the collective, such as Yoshihiro Fujita, Kaho Nakamura, and Aya Toshikawa (also known as Lady Kawaii), create large-scale oil paintings that depict the young and suggestive figures that characterize the genre—what some criticize as Manga’s “Lolita complex.”

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